You can ski on garbage in Copenhagen, this is a good thing

copenhill ski slope
Danish photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj

Copenhagen is about to open the full time doors on their first ski experience, on top of the city’s power plant. The Amager Bakke waste to energy plant has built an artificial ski slope, hiking area, 85 metre climbing wall and even an après destination on the roof of the garbage plant.

The Amager Ressource Center (ARC) is a power plant that opened in 2017 and is part of the city’s plan to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital. The city’s trash is burned in the centre of the plant to create power from 400 000 tons of waster annually. This allows the plant to power tens of thousands of homes with electricity.

The best part is the chimney does not emit anything toxic and the plant is fully automated, requiring a mere two people to operate it. The ash byproduct is then used for road construction. 

The ski and adventure project has been designed by Danish design group BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and SLA architects, the names behind the Swiss Hotel with ski slope roof opening in 2020. 

bjarke ingels
Danish photographer Rasmus Hjortshøj

The slopes were opened for trial (and photos) earlier this year. When the full slope is revealed this European summer, urban skiers and boarders will be able to take on a 400 metre ski run from the top of the plant to it’s base. There’s even a 18 degree turn about halfway down the run, a chairlift and a conveyor carpet.

The Neveplast skiing surface is shaded in hues of green not white so it may feel more like grass skiing than anything. The slopes will be complemented with landscaping including small pines for that alpine feel.

Well played, Denmark, well played. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.